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Google Goes Insane for the Day

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FOOLS FOR APRIL
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Every spring, Google partakes in the annual tradition of unleashing a few April Fools pranks related to their products. Through the years, we've seen Gmail Paper (a service which prints out your email and ships them to you directly), Gmail Custom Time (the ability to backdate an email to appear as if it's been sent on time), and of course, Google and Topeka deciding to swap names.

But today, Google has gone nuts with a slew of gags for the day -- as if there's time to spare from improving +1.

Referencing Microsoft Kinect's motion controls for the Xbox, Google "introduces" Gmail Motion -- a series of gestures to control Gmail with your body. "Gmail Motion uses your computer's built-in webcam and Google's patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels."

And with every new service that Google unveils, there's a video:



Speaking of video, Google's next prank celebrates the 100th anniversary of YouTube. Clips viewed on the site come equipped with a "1911" button which renders the video into a mini-silent film, complete with film scratches, sepia tone, and a jaunty piano melody. Along with the overlaid filter, Google mocked up a video commemorating the Top Five Viral Pictures of 1911 -- which features early-20th century versions of the Bed Intruder Song, Rick Rolls, and Keyboard Cat.



And Google just didn't unveil phony services today. It also put out a call for "Autocompleters" to work in its Mountain View offices or "obscure locations around the world." What does the job entail?

"As a Google Autocompleter, you'll be expected to successfully guess a user's intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you'll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don't worry, after a few million predictions you'll grow the required reflexes."

Responsibilities include "watching anonymized search queries as they come in to Google," and "predicting and typing completions based on your personal experience and intuition." Typing 32,000 words per minute and a certificate in psychic reading strongly recommended.

In an apparent leg up in the competition against Firefox and IE, Google Chrome is introducing Chromercise -- a better web through faster fingers. As featured in Digits Magazine!

"Want to increase your hands’ STRENGTH and DEXTERITY while browsing the web FASTER and fitting into sleeker, SEXIER gloves? Chromercise is the finger fitness program you’ve been drumming the table for. BUILD muscle tone and flexibility! ELIMINATE unsightly upper-finger flab! Surf the Net like a speed-typing master! Put the world in your hands—GET CHROMERCISED!"



But arguably, Google's best prank this year is also its simplest. Simply type "Helvetica" -- the celebrated font -- into Google Search. The result is the bane of office newsletters and "Out of Order" signs worldwide.

And if you don't cotton to the Google scene, ThinkGeek followed up its iPad Mini Arcade with a Playmobil Apple Store Playset -- perfect for the fanboy in all of us.



Solid work, ThinkGeek. But it's hard to deny Hulu's horrifying version of the streaming video site had it been created in 1996.

Good God, the frames!

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